What Are the Different Types of Industrial Dehumidifiers?

types of industrial dehumidifiers featured photo

If you have a warehouse or manufacturing facility, you know it is important to keep goods in optimal condition. One of the best ways to protect items is to invest in an industrial dehumidifier. But since it comes in different types, finding one that meets your requirements can be difficult. 

Industrial dehumidifiers are divided into three main types: refrigerant (compressor), low-grain refrigerant (LGR), and desiccant dehumidifiers. Each has pros and cons to suit your unique needs.

However, there are other types of dehumidifiers worth learning about, which we’ll cover in this article. We’ll also teach you the differences between them. Plus, we’ll answer some of your questions about their usage below.

What Are the Types of Industrial Dehumidifiers?

There are eight common types of commercial and industrial dehumidifiers. Choosing between them depends on your specific needs and the environmental conditions in which you will use them.

Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

As their name suggests, these industrial dehumidifiers use a refrigerant to remove excess moisture from the air. A built-in compressor draws in water vapor over a cold evaporator coil. The water collects in a reservoir before it undergoes a re-heating process. Once it is warm enough, the condenser coil returns moisture to the room.

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are great for a wide range of humidity levels and temperatures. That said, they are more efficient at higher temperatures.

This type of dehumidifier is also available in different sizes. It can suit small and large industrial commercial spaces that require constant dehumidification. 

Plus, most models are portable and stackable. They are ideal for bigger and more demanding tasks that require more than one unit.

Low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) Dehumidifiers

Low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) Dehumidifiers

A low-grain refrigerant dehumidifier works similarly to the previous refrigerant model. The only difference is that it uses a special low-grain refrigerant. 

This special refrigerant undergoes a double-cooling internal process. It cools the air, allowing the machine to operate at low temperatures, typically down to 33 °F.

LGR dehumidifiers can also remove excess water below 55-40 grains per pound (GPP). That means more condensation happens inside the coils, and more moisture is pumped out from the room. It ultimately results in drier processed air and greater operating efficiency.

This type of dehumidifier is the top choice for water damage restoration projects. Other applications include drying large construction projects and dense materials as well as wood restoration.

Industrial low-grain refrigerant dehumidifiers come in different designs and sizes to suit unique needs. Feel free to choose from freestanding models, portable units, and with or without internal condensate pumps.

Some LGR models even have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. These enable you to control the machine remotely, log data, and track multiple devices at the same time.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

This type of industrial dehumidifier lacks a refrigerant and a compressor. Instead, it uses a desiccant to reduce relative humidity levels, hence its name.

Desiccant dehumidifiers have a built-in desiccant wheel that rotates to remove excess water vapor. This wheel uses the adsorption process, which attracts moisture in damp air and holds it on the surface of the desiccant. It is different from absorption, which must absorb moisture. 

This device also features a small internal heater. It raises the temperature of the air retained in the wheel. Then, it regenerates the wheel to release the hot air back into the room. 

Since a desiccant dehumidifier doesn’t use a refrigerant, it doesn’t need to drain water. It can effectively dehumidify areas with sub-zero temperatures or hostile environments. It can even reduce relative humidity to 35%, which is ideal for commercial and industrial settings requiring a high dry-air quality. 

Plus, these dehumidification systems are usually smaller and lighter than most refrigerant models. They can easily fit into tight spaces and are movable when needed. 

The downside is that it works slowly compared to refrigerant units. It also results in higher operating costs because of the need to regenerate the desiccant material.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are suitable for industries where production processes create humidity. These include marine environments, printing facilities, food packaging, storage facilities, and museums, among other industries.

Ionic Membrane Dehumidifiers

Ionic Membrane Dehumidifiers

This commercial and industrial dehumidifier uses an ionic membrane to reduce relative humidity through water condensation or adsorption. It is also known as an SPE dehumidifier because it employs a solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) membrane.

Ionic membrane or SPE dehumidifiers work by generating positively charged electrodes. These release negatively charged ions into the area. As they collide with moisture in the air, they get attracted to the positively charged electrode plates inside the machine. Then, they form as water droplets, which are drained into a container. 

In simple terms, these industrial and commercial dehumidifiers remove water vapor through electrolysis. They lack moving parts, so they operate silently and reliably. 

They also don’t require regular maintenance. As such, ionic membrane dehumidifiers are suitable for enclosed areas where maintenance is difficult to perform. They prevent mold and protect medical equipment, museum specimens, scientific apparatus, and sensitive electrical components from humidity. 

SPE systems do not have high dehydration capacities, though. They are best suited to remove humidity in sealed enclosures. 

Spray Dehumidifiers

Spray Dehumidifiers

These industrial dehumidifiers combine sprays of chilled water and air to reduce excess moisture. The cool water attracts atmospheric air, causing it to condense instead of evaporate.

The water is atomized into a fine mist within a chamber. Once the mist comes into contact with the humid air, the moisture condenses onto fine water droplets. The machine separates the water molecules from the moist air and drains them away. Finally, the remaining dry air returns to the environment.

Besides excess moisture, spray dehumidifiers can trap different pollutants, such as pollen. They can even clean the air, so they are sometimes called air washers. 

Ventilation Dehumidifiers

Ventilation Dehumidifiers

Ventilation or ventilating dehumidifiers use air exchange and moisture removal to control humidity levels in industrial settings. They usually work with the existing ventilation system of the warehouse or building to ensure centralized dehumidification.

These industrial and commercial dehumidifiers draw in fresh air from outside and moist indoor air. Then, they pass the air over to the built-in heat exchanger, which adjusts temperature accordingly. Finally, they return the drier air to the building. 

Most models also feature humidity sensors and programmable settings. These allow you to maintain the desired humidity level automatically. 

Some ventilation dehumidifiers even have filters to remove dust and other environmental pollutants. They can ultimately improve indoor room air quality. 

Ventilation dehumidifiers are typically used in larger spaces or entire warehouses. They can address humidity problems, such as mold and mildew growth, throughout the entire building.

Heat Pump Dehumidifiers

Heat Pump Dehumidifiers

This last type of industrial dehumidifier uses a heat pump to reduce humidity levels in commercial environments. It draws moist air into a heat exchanger, which removes excess water vapor. Then, the machine releases the dry air back into the room and drains the rest of the water.

A heat pump dehumidifier typically consumes less energy. That is because it relies on heat energy to remove excess humidity instead of electricity. 

It provides both cooling and dehumidification benefits, making it ideal for certain manufacturing processes.

However, heat pump dehumidifiers are not as effective at very low temperatures. Consider other types of commercial and industrial dehumidifiers when dealing with cold warehouses or processes. 

Which Type of Industrial Dehumidifier Is Best?

Now that you know the different kinds of industrial dehumidifiers, you may wonder which one is the best.

The answer depends on your unique needs and the existing environmental conditions in which it will be used. You must also consider the size of the area, energy efficiency, maintenance requirements, and your budget.

Below is a brief rundown of the different kinds of industrial dehumidifiers to use.

  • Refrigerant Dehumidifiers: These are great for general dehumidification needs in moderate to high-temperature environments. They provide a more efficient performance in hotter settings.
  • Low-Grain Refrigerant (LGR) Dehumidifiers: They are effective in removing excess moisture in both high humidity conditions and lower temperatures. They are best for water damage restoration, whether in large construction projects or simple wood furniture. 
  • Desiccant Dehumidifiers: They can suit various industrial processes, especially those who require precise humidity control. They also work efficiently in lower temperatures. 
  • Ionic Membrane Dehumidifiers: They are ideal for enclosed areas where maintenance is difficult to perform. They can control humidity in places that store museum specimens, medical equipment, scientific apparatus, and sensitive electrical components. 
  • Spray Dehumidifiers: These are an excellent option for those who need air cleaning and dehumidification.
  • Ventilation Dehumidifiers: These units suit commercial applications where fresh air exchange is necessary. These include indoor pool areas and other industrial processes. 
  • Heat Pump Dehumidifiers: They are ideal for industrial environments that require both cooling and dehumidification. 

Are Industrial Dehumidifiers Safe?

Yes, industrial or heavy-duty dehumidifiers are safe as long as you use them properly. They have high moisture removal capabilities, necessary safeguards, and durable construction. All of these meet the demands of industrial environments. 

However, commercial dehumidifiers can still pose certain risks, such as fire hazards and electric shocks. Always follow the recommended usage instructions from the manufacturer. You must also ensure proper machine installation and regular maintenance for safe use. 


Commercial or industrial dehumidifiers control humidity levels in large facilities to keep goods in optimal condition. They are available in different types, each with a specific purpose. 

The most common classifications are refrigerant (compressor), low-grain refrigerant (LGR), and desiccant dehumidifiers. However, you’ll also come across ionic membrane, spray, ventilation, and heat pump models. You must consider your unique needs, current environmental conditions, and budget (among other factors) before deciding which dehumidifier is best.

Do you have more questions about industrial dehumidifiers? Feel free to send your queries via our contact page!

Related Articles